Merle Haggard Dead: Country Singer Dies On 79th Birthday
Merle Haggard, the legendary country music star, died on Wednesday following a battle with double pneumonia, Gossip Cop confirms. The singer’s death also happens to have fallen on his 79th birthday.
Haggard reportedly passed away at his home in Redding, California on Wednesday morning. He was diagnosed with pneumonia last year, and spent more than a week at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Riverside, California earlier this year. Haggard was slated to perform in a series of upcoming concerts, but recently canceled the planned gigs due to his illness worsening. Haggard has had other health issues in the past, undergoing an angioplasty in 1995, and having part of a lung removed in 2008 as a result of cancer.
Haggard had many run-ins with the law as a young man, leading to him to being sent to San Quentin when he was 20. Johnny Cash’s famous performance at the prison coincided with Haggard’s prison stay, which inspired him to embark on a music career. The singer had 39 number one hits, including, “Okie From Muskogee,” “Mama Tried,” “Branded Man,” “Sing Me Back Home,” and “That’s the Way Love Goes.”
Haggard was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994, and into the Nashville’s Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1977. He also won numerous Grammy, ACM and CMA Awards. The singer is survived by his fifth wife Theresa Ann Lane and their two children, as well as four children from a previous wife.